Gross! Bullies spit in Zooey Deschanel's face

Jan 18, 2012 at 8:15 a.m. ET

Zooey Deschanel says she was the victim of her school's real-life mean girls, who tormented and abused her. Read on to find out how.

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel is on top of the world professionally with her hit sitcom New Girl, but it wasn't always that way. The singer/actress told Allure that middle school bullies were so incredibly mean to her that they did the unthinkable!

"Girls spit in my face," Deschanel said in the February issue of the mag. "People were so mean to me. I'd cry every day."

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It didn't get much better in college, where she said no one "got" her.

"I went to Northwestern because I had gone to a really nontraditional high school. I was like, 'It'd be cool to have a traditional college experience,'" the 32-year-old explained. "Then I was like, 'Oh, but none of these people understand what's cool about me. My specialness is not appreciated in this place.'"

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While many actors who reveal childhood bullying go the "whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger" route when talking about it to the press, Deschanel fully admits the experience still haunts her to this day. She is extra sensitive to any mean girl comments and avoids reading about herself whenever possible.

"I can't go on Gawker. I actually think the writing is really funny, but there is a chance that somebody is undercutting me," she said.

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It has affected her career choices, too. "I've always straddled a weird line -- there's a lot of mainstream stuff that I love," Deschanel said. "At the same, I still feel like an outsider. I'm the outsider who's on the inside."

Catch Zooey Deschanel on her hit show New Girl Tuesdays at 9/8 Central on Fox.

Image courtesy Daniel Tanner/